Stories about Asif Zardari

From PML-Nawaz to PML-Nobody: Who’s calling the shots?

Ours is a great country. We love our politics as much as we love our curry with laal mirch masala (red chilli powder). Perhaps one of the primary reasons we are as emotional as we are is because of the laal mirch (read laal, hari, peeli mirch) in our food. It makes us exciting, passionate and restless. A little moderation in our masala intake might make us more tolerant and peaceful, and this definitely is the case for most of the nations of the subcontinent. Seems like at this moment the greatest need for moderation is in Islamabad, where judicial activism is at its ...

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The only tabdeeli Imran Khan is successful in bringing is to tabdeel himself into yet another untrustworthy disappointment we call a politician

I can clearly remember the 2013 election – it was my first time voting and I was going to vote for a ‘naya Pakistan’. As a naïve 18-year-old who was generally unfamiliar with politics, I was swept away by the idea of changing the country, the idea of progressing, and Imran Khan’s chants of “tabdeeli aa nahi rahi, tabdeeli agayi hai” (Change is not coming, change is here) served as fodder for my adolescent idealism.   Yes, I voted for Imran and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) that day, and yes, I regret it today. Months later, when the focus was still on the sit-ins and ...

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Damage control does not need to come at the expense of our minorities, Capt Safdar

A few days ago, I came across a video making rounds on social media which disturbed me a whole lot. In the said video, a retired major, belonging to a newly formed political party, was openly threatening to kill the former prime minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif. In his view, Nawaz, by constantly reaching out to Ahmadis, had become ‘Wajibul Qatl’ (necessary to be killed). I could not believe that someone could so openly express hatred against a minority community and incite violence against a former PM for just displaying kind and courteous behaviour towards our minorities. It was the ...

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Nawaz Sharif is now a billionaire and expects people to not question the source of his money inflow – if only, dear PM

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif retained his status as a billionaire in the latest information regarding politicians’ net worth released by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). This data has been derived from the information the candidates file with the ECP when running for public office. This list is published every year, though there is no actual need. It just reaffirms what the nation already knows – in a country where a large chunk of people are living below the poverty line, the politicians seem to be getting richer and richer. For example, in 2011, the assets owned by Nawaz and Kulsoom Nawaz ...

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The curious case of Hussain Haqqani

In ancient cultures across the globe, people believed that the gods punished them directly for their transgressions. These punishments would be in the form of droughts, excess heat or cold or simply too much rain. Numerous outcasts or prisoners paid the price as human sacrifices to the gods including children sacrificed by the Aztecs. In certain cultures, the sins of the people were transferred onto a goat by a priest and then sacrificed to pay for peoples’ transgressions. A similar story can be found in the Bible. Hence the term ‘scapegoat’ was born. I think it’s best to state the ...

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After Benazir, PPP is no longer representative of all of Pakistan the way it used to be

I still remember that moment. I had just entered the Cuckoo’s Den, the famed restaurant in Lahore, overlooking the monumental Badshahi Mosque. That was my first visit to the restaurant and I had brought two of my office colleagues with me. It was early evening and the restaurant was slightly deserted. The phone rang. It was my younger brother on the line. “Raza, where are you? Please come back home immediately. Benazir has been assassinated,” he said in a very distressed voice. I almost fainted as I could not believe the news. I had to gather myself and inform my friends. We all agreed ...

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Dear Bilawal (Zardari), please read a newspaper so you know what Sindh is going through

Dear Mr Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, It has been reported that you are behind the move to remove some ministers in the Sindh cabinet and appoint new ones. Of course, this is nothing new, all over the world ministers are sacked and replaced if they do not perform satisfactorily. Usually what happens is that new and competent people are chosen to run the government. With all due respect, I, for one, feel that nothing will change by sacking some ministers and replacing them with others. The people of Sindh will continue to suffer due to the absolute lack of governance in the ...

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The Dilma affair will push Brazil further into ruinous chaos

It’s been an incredibly interesting month of April. First, the Panama Papers brought to the fore the wrongdoings of the high and mighty among us and caused an instant downfall in the fortunes of the Iceland prime minister at the hands of his own countrymen who flocked to the streets to protest and did not give up until Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson’s ouster was a done deal – a grand display of how a true democracy works. Not too long after, thousands of miles away, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, on account of some unholy business engagements and amidst mounting criticism and public outrage, ended up ...

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Why does Chris Gayle think sexual harassment is a joke?

Chris Gayle made headlines a couple of days ago that had nothing to do with his batting achievements. In fact, he is being chastised all over the world for misbehaving with Mel Mclaughlin, a reporter from the official broadcaster of Big Bash League. He flirted in the most unabashed manner; called her eyes beautiful and then threw in an offer for drinks later. Imagine being confronted with this sort of behaviour at a social event. You would cringe, roll your eyes and decisively walk the other way in disgust. Now think about having to face this conduct in a professional ...

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Will the PPP extend the Rangers’ tenure? It’s damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t

The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)-led provincial government appears to be sinking deeper into quicksand with every reflex and move that it makes – whatever the direction. Every path appears to have a noose dangling on the horizon, except for the flight to Dubai. Better the oasis in those dunes than local ones. On the issue of the extension of the Rangers’ tenure, the Sindh government has stumbled from one parliamentary pillar to the next. It was damned if it extended the Rangers’ tenure, damned if it didn’t, and is currently damned that it has curtailed the powers of the paramilitary force. Every move has played ...

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